Let’s talk some about follow-up. Everyone who loves following up with the media raise your hands. Higher, please; I can’t see those hands. Okay, I used to cringe when I had to do follow up calls, but now I just do it, usually with a short script in hand. People tend to have different schedules. I might wait a day or so before following up on an email for instance. Of course if there’s a hot news story circulating I might wait an hour. And I usually smile when I leave the message. I know I’m probably a source of annoyance (well, not me personally, but certainly my message might be) and if I smile and say something like, “I know you’re very busy, so I’m especially grateful for any response you might have . . . “ and of course I always say thank you at the end of my message. Think about it: how would you respond to a message from someone who talks really fast, allows her inferiority complex to show, and basically gives you every reason in the world not to call her back?
This isn’t charity, folks. No one has to call you back. And quite frankly I’m always thrilled when someone does. And I thank them at the very start of the conversation for doing so. I know; you might be getting nauseas reading this blog, but honestly, I don’t follow up anymore. Why? Mostly because I really am trying to help them with a story. Plus, I believe in my clients. I really do. I’m lucky, because I’m in the position of telling a story or two about things I care about whether it’s the latest book by a noted physician or a scientifically proven supplement that truly enhances millions of people’s lives.
Here are some quick tips:
1. Be quick and identify yourself (name, organization)
2. Ask if they’ve gotten your email (Very often, at least in my experience, editors, writers and producers just don’t have the time to open every single email that comes through so it’s not unusual for them to ask you to resend. That’s okay; don’t take offense. Be glad the door is still open.)
3. Fit in your call to action: set up a time and date to discuss info in more detail or with your client.
Next time: more follow-up tips.